The less time and energy is wasted getting something done, the more efficiently your warehouse will run– and the more results you’ll see in your bottom line.An improvement in warehouse efficiency leads to an increase in productivity, which in turn is crucial to customer satisfaction. This means that every little action counts, from little tweaks to major changes, as everything can contribute to a fully operational and well-organised business.
Audit the Operations
Before making changes that will improve your warehouse’s efficiency, it’s imperative that you conduct an audit. After all, there’s no better way of knowing what’s being done to reduce costs or ensure customer satisfaction if you don’t analyse current processes.
An audit can help you understand the accuracy and productivity of your employees and procedures, both in a qualitative and quantitative way, and it also allows you to identify patterns and trends – this, in turn, allows you to make internal and external comparisons and apply the improvements you want.
Automation is the Future
One of the most popular ways to increase warehouse efficiency is by automating processes, which allows you to reduce the risk of human error and speed up daily activities, as manual procedures can take up a lot of your employees’ time and energy. Choosing to switch over to automation, such as using a barcode stock control system, can reduce paperwork and ensure the processes are not just faster, but accurate as well.
More and more warehouses are opting for automating their daily processes, as they find it greatly improvesthe efficiency of the operations – and allows both employees and managers to focus on other more relevant or important tasks.
Even the giant Amazon is starting to implement robots in its warehouses. This advancement is clearly beneficial for everyone, as the robots can carry heavy loads in a quick manner andfor many miles every day, all without getting tired or hurt.While many business owners may consider them a waste of money, robots and other forms of automation actually make for a great investment, as they’re extremely cost-effective in the long run.
Optimise Vertical Space
Storage is essential to the daily activities of a warehouse. In order to maximise space, storing vertically is a must, especially because room on the floor can be limited and it’s important to take advantage of every little bit of space available.
Pallet racking is one of the most common methods of achieving this, as it’s easy to use and allows for a quick retrieval of products – for these reasons, this type of shelving is used in the vast majority of warehouses around the world.
Keeping your warehouse floor free of clutter can not only increase the efficiency of your daily processes, but also prevent accidents and reduce the risk of injury. Both your employees and the machinery used, such as forklifts,need to have safe paths to walk through, and the best way to arrange this is by storing everything out of the way.
Give and Receive Feedback
Equally important is advice, criticism and people’s views on things, as otherwise it can be challenging to know whether processes are working or your employees are satisfied in the workplace. Allowing them to give you feedback on current operations and applied changes can help you realise what works and what doesn’t.
Giving feedback to your employees in order to measure their performance is also extremely important, as it contributes to higher levels of productivity in your business.
A picker spends most of his or her work hours walking around the warehouse, which can quickly become time-consuming and exhausting. In order to optimise this role, you need to determine whether the existing picking method really works, and how to make it more productive.
For example, developing appropriate picking locations can hugely improve the efficiency of this operation, as does moving the most popular SKUs to places that are closer to shipping and loading areas.This means batching together same-zone orders and sequencing orders by paths, which can save time and promotes workflow.